It was through working at a college work-study program that Flint Southwestern Academy Graduate Ardelia Bailey secured her current position as a compliance officer at Metro Community Development in Flint.
Bailey says she picked up quite a few skills and responsibilities while working at Baker College of Flint library as a circulation clerk for a year and a half. While there, she earned both an associate and bachelor’s degree in business administration. This gave her the skills she needed for her current job at the local community development financial institution, or CDFI, which helps consumers who have needs that aren’t served by the mainstream banking system.
However, she is still working toward more.
“I plan on going back to school to obtain a master’s degree in business management or public administration,” says Bailey. “I would like to start my own consulting and investment company.”
How do you plan on pursuing your goals?
I plan on going to school online. My first step would be researching graduate programs at universities and colleges that would be the best fit for me. I also plan to take courses on investing to better understand the financial tools I will need to start my own business.
What does a typical day look like for you at your current job?
Communication is key to my day. I start with checking my email and calendar – most days I have a Zoom meeting or webinar to attend. Being new to the financial market, I consistently have my learning cap on, so there is a lot of training and research during my day.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is the challenge and self-discipline that comes with it. It keeps me on my toes and inspires me to always do my best.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way you work?
I am working remotely now. A good portion of the work that we do is community-based and, with social distancing, our impact and reach is limited. However, the pandemic has also allowed me to be more creative and expressive in my work.
How did the lessons learned in TeenQuest help you on the path to your position?
It was a great experience and I was given the opportunity to network with other students, practice interview techniques, construct a resume, and be exposed to secondary education.
What advice would you give current TeenQuest students?
The best advice I can give is to have confidence in everything that you do and to always be willing and ready to back that confidence with preparation and hard work.
What has been your proudest moment since TeenQuest?
Being the first among my siblings to graduate high school and obtain my bachelor’s degree. My father and mother attended my graduation ceremony. My father told me that I had fulfilled all the hopes and dreams that he had for me. But that is when I realized I was not doing it for the approval of my parents but because I loved learning and education.
TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.